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This is actually part of a series I have been working on (Read:Thinking about in the shower) for awhile. The other parts will be up when I feel like it.

Deciding to become a parent, or discovering you are about to be can send you frantically searching the Internet reading every book you can find, and interrogating everyone you know who has ever seen a child on what to expect. The thing is, while the Internet has approximately two billion pages related to pregnancy and child-rearing, the bookstore has 76,003 books on the topic and most parents won’t shut up about their kids, and are more than thrilled to tell you the Right Way To Do Everything, 97% of the tips, tricks and information you find are going to be crap that has absolutely not-a-damn-thing to do with the actual pregnancy experience you will have and the actual child(ren) you will end up with. And, trust me, even if you DON’T ask, people are going to give you advice and tell you their horrible, horrible labor stories while using words like “mucus plug” and discussing “placenta options”. (The best option: Don’t look at it. Just…don’t. )
Anyway, as a veteran (ha!) mother of four with such credentials as “I haven’t locked any of them in my car by accident, yet.” and “Most of them can kind-of wipe their own asses!”, I’ve decided that this makes me qualified to give you advice that doesn’t suck, and share with you the facts that you really need to know about this journey you are about to go on.
I’m starting with toddlers, instead of pregnancy, mostly because I’ve spent the last week dealing with the stomach plague and this one was closer to being done than “pregnancy”.

-Toddlers are terrorists.
The first thing you need to know is that toddlers are, in fact, tiny dictators who will completely rule your life. The sooner you recognize this fact and accept it, the better off you will be.

-The “Terrible Two’s” start at 18 months

and um, I’ll let you know when they end.

-Your child is going to publicly humiliate you. More than once.
Childrens mouths learn to form words well before their brain learns to filter them (I’ll let you know when the filtering kicks in just as soon as that actually happens) so you will, at some point, end up in public with a child who  dramatically points at the overweight man behind you and asks loudly if he is the Staypuff Marshmellow Man, or why that lady is made out of chocolate. Also, you will, at some point, end up in a store or restaurant with a toddler who is screaming and flailing and basically acting like they have a problem that requires medication, or perhaps a priest. And half the people who see you will be judging you and thinking “MY children will NEVER act like that.” and the other half will be laughing at you because they know you were once the person judging THEM and saying “MY child will NEVER act like that.” and, well, karma is a bitch. Which brings us to…

-You will find yourself doing most of those things you swore you’d never do.
Don’t feel bad. All of us are great parents until we actually HAVE children. Also, don’t be surprised if you start channeling your own mother or father at some point.

-Nature made toddlers adorable to keep us from killing them.
No matter what kind of evil mischief your kid gets into, all they have to do is smile at you and all will be forgiven. For example, they could, say, strip naked while supposedly taking a nap, poop on the floor, empty the contents of every drawer in their room, cover everything-including themselves- with marker, and when you open the door and are just about to lose your shit, they will jump up, smile, throw their hands in the air and yell, “HAPPY BIRFDAY!” And all is lost.

-Everyone has an opinion. And they are all wrong.
When you have a kid, people seem to feel obligated to share with you what their child, nephew or third-cousin-twice-removed was doing at that age, and why your child is slow/weird/possibly autistic for not. It’s going to make you crazy and you’ll be tempted to let it get to you and start playing “Keeping up with the Madisons'”. Don’t. So that Madison kid in your playgroup was walking at ten months and conjugating Latin by 2 1/2, while your baby has just managed to master the delicate art of getting her finger IN her nostril instead of her eye. There’s a WIDE range of “normal” for all those milestones so throw out that “What to Expect” book and relax. Unless your pediatrician is concerned (and in some cases, even if they are) do not stress over when your kid is going to walk, talk, jump, and learn French. It will come. I had one walk at nine months old and one walk at nearly sixteen months. But they all walked, eventually. Also, for the love of the gods,

– Do not stress about potty training.
Just don’t. Kids do it when they are ready. No sooner, no later. All the M&M’s and “Once Upon a Potty” books in the world won’t make a damn bit of difference if your child just isn’t ready. Just let them watch you go. (Yeah, accept the fact that you’ll be going to the bathroom with an audience for the next ten years, sorry.) Talk to them about it. Cheer and wave “bye-bye” after they flush for you. Sit them on the potty every so often. It’ll come. And once it does, you’ll get the wonderful tour of every dirty restroom in your entire city experience, and the joy of Teaching Them To Pee Behind The Bush At The Rest Stop so enjoy your diaper time while you have it. Also, put Post Its in your purse. Use them to cover the sensors on those godawful self-flushing toilets with the child-strength suction. Trust me on this, the “Toilets Trying To Eat Me” nightmares and an irrational fear of public toilets require lots of therapy (for you) and lots of peeing on the floor in Target (for them) (hopefully in that order).

-Your toddler will eventually learn to do everything.
At once. You’ll look over to see them riding a unicycle while juggling and singing “Twinkle, Twinkle” in French. And your camera batteries will be dead. And when you rush out and gather everyone you know to come and see, and you tell them all excitedly to “Watch what he can do!” they will surround him and he will be sitting on the floor, drooling, with a finger up one nostril…THIS he will do for the camera.

…and no pants. Even though he had pants five seconds ago and Where the hell are your pants, kid?

-Toddlers live by a unique set of internal rules.
These rules usually require them to want the opposite of any given thing at any time. If the light it on, it must be off. If something is closed it must be opened, if it is opened, it MUST be closed. When you want to stay, they want to leave, when you want to go, they must not leave, ever. Don’t ever ask them what they want, to wear for example. (The answer will be “No.”) Give them two choices you are ok with and let them pick one. (The answer will still probably be “No.”)

-They are faster than you.
You will spend twenty minutes wrestling them into clothing and shoes and then you will turn around, pick up your purse and take one step only to find them completely naked with shoes on their hands. Plan accordingly. You will never be “On time” for anything again.
-99.4% of your Facebook Friends do not care about your experiences with potty training. That adorable picture of your toddler in the bathtub with a soap mohawk? The sweet video of him in his first halloween costume toddling towards the camera?

They. Don’t. Care.
Your kid is the most adorable and awesome kid in the world. But aside from the kids grandparents who live far away and that one friend with the puppy screen saver, the rest of the world does not want to see 1257864 potty training updates and video of every single thing he ever did, ever.
Assholes.

– Your kid is probably eating enough.
Yes, I know she had four Cheerios, a half a dog-treat and that thing from under the couch that might have been a skittle or might have been a bead for lunch. You’re going to stress about this. Don’t. As long as they get a somewhat balanced variety of food over the course of a week and they aren’t losing weight or turning funny colors, and poop is still coming out, it’s all good. Throw in a vitamin or some Pediasure from time to time if it’s bothering you that much.

-Don’t worry. They’re all bi-polar, manipulative little rabid raccoons.
You kid is going to be weird. And that’s normal. (probably) One minute they will be joyously laughing, the next, having the meltdown to end all meltdowns. Put DOWN the Lithium. Step away from the Internet child psychology websites. I know your cousins grandmas sister was psychotic, but so is every other toddler on the planet. They’ll grow out of it. (Get used to that phrase. Along with “It’s just a phase.” While true, it’s going to irritate the crap out of you because knowing it won’t last doesn’t HELP YOU NOW. But it does help to remember that this won’t last forever and you should try and embrace and cherish the good parts as much as you can. In retrospect, it all goes SO fast.)

-Your life will (still) revolve around someone elses bowel movements.
This starts with pregnancy, this weird poop-centric alternate universe where you spend more time then you ever thought possible thinking, talking and even writing about poop. Discussing your kids poop schedule will be done with your partner over dinner or your mother over coffee. It starts with the whole “Will I poop while pushing?” issue. (Yes.) From there it moves to “Are they pooping enough?” if you’re breastfeeding or “Is this formula making their poop weird” if not, and on to “When will they poop in the potty?” And “Why is there poop on the lamp?” And this won’t end until they are like, fifteen. (With any luck, they’ll stop pooping on the lamp around age six, though.)

-They learn SO much SO fast.
Little ears are listening and little eyes are watching. Everything you do. And right now is the time when their brains are set to full speed. They absorb everything. It’s actually pretty amazing. But don’t be surprised if you hear a Teddy bear repeating a phrase you use, with perfect inflection and all as it talks to a dinosaur. You will see a lot of you reflected back from your child, so it’s probably a good idea to watch what you do and say a bit more now. There’s nothing quite like the fun of hearing a snide remark you’ve made about the other mom in the playgroup coming out of your child in front of said mom at the next Mommy & Me class.

-At some point during this time, you’re going to do something that makes you feel like a failure as a parent.
You aren’t. We all fuck up. One of the good things about toddlers is that they have very bad memory skills. So if you accidentally do lock them in the car and the nice fireman has to come rescue them, chances are, they won’t remember it and i11f they do, it’ll be “That time I saw the fireman with the cool hat!”. Don’t feel too guilty if you drop a can of tuna on their foot or accidentally teach them to be a pyromaniac.

http://www.twitvid.com/embed.php?guid=0KTQN&autoplay=0

They’ll forgive you. (But your neighbors slightly singed cat might not.)

-Parenting a toddler is a lot like being on a roller-coaster.
There’s ups and downs and the occasional inconvenient vomiting. Every day you’ll look at them and feel your heart burst with love as you realize that adorable little blob of goos and gaas is turning into an actual person. A person that YOU made. And every day you’ll spend some time locked in your bathroom, hiding, because that person that you made really did not want THAT kind of juice in THAT cup. And now he really wants to hit you in the head with said cup. You aren’t bi-polar either. Welcome to toddler-hood.

*This might have some spoilers if you aren’t caught up with last seasons TV, but I’ll try my best not to ruin anything too major for you.*

So, I’ve been working on this monster of a post for four days now that has led me down a rabbit-hole of hate, or sucked me into a K-hole of absolute horrific-ness or something. (Not that I’m entirely sure what “K-hole” is..I assume it’s that hole between ones anus and fun bits that appears after you’ve had four children?)
And by “working on” I mean “Reading awful, awful shit that has left me unable to hear anything but the sound of white noise only broken by the occasional screech of nails across a blackboard and children screaming, and unable to see anything other than a haze of red and those spots you get after staring directly into the sun by accident. I’ve also started having nightmares where I’m being chased by a thousand people who all look like I imagine Rick Santorum and Rick Perrys’ love child would look. They are all carrying gleaming gold, bloodstained crosses that have every end sharpened into a stake and they are chanting “Repent Liberal Elitist Scum! REPENT!” They haven’t caught me yet, but when they do, I just know they plan to duct tape me to a chair and prop my eyelids open -Clockwork Orange style- and force me to watch Fox News while they perform exorcism after exorcism on me in order to remove the demon that has turned me into a “gay rights” sympathizer.”

What I’m saying is: Issues: I haz them.

Anyway, in an effort to scrub away much of the vile, vile hate that has made it so I can’t even go to the park for fear that cross-bearing morality police will jump out of the bushes and start indoctrinating my children in the finer points of how to spot Teh Gay,* I’ve returned to my favorite mind-numbing, palate cleansing pastime: Television.

Ah, TV, how do I love thee? Let me count the… Hang on, Vampire Diaries is on, I’ll get back to you.

Yes, I watch the Vampire Diaries. And if you have a problem with it, you can bite me. (If you are Damon, you can bite me anyway.)

So, yeah. This month rings in new TV season. Or, as we refer to it around here, the beginning of the season in which my husband and I only communicate during halftime and Grays Anatomy commercials and the kids start taking really long naps and going to bed at seven.

Right now you are all saying: “So, tell us what you watch already! We must know!” Actually, 99.7% could not care less, but, guess what? I’m going to tell you anyway!

The short answer is: I watch everything with a plot. (That is, *not* ” Reality TV”)
The long answer is way more longerer.

Here’s some random lists in no particular order whatsoever.

Shit I watch that I’d probably be ashamed of. If I had shame.

The Vampire Diaries

Why I Heart It: I’m an unreformed Buffy/Angel addict. As such, I need regular fixes of emo/broody vampires that don’t, under any circumstances, sparkle. This show is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. You’ve got your angsty human teenage girl who holds the heart of not one, but two bad-boy vampire brothers. There’s also high school social events to deal with ZOMG the horror! (And I swear, there’s a dance, ball, party, or some other event like twice a week.) And what vampire show would be complete without some gratuitous werewolf action.
Also, see above re: Damon and the biting.

Gossip Girl.

Why? Yes. I know. Shut up, OK? Because It’s awesome. Because Chuck Bass, that’s why. And not even in a creepy-old-chick-who-wants-to-violate-the-gay-boy kind of way. I just love his “I’m an asshole with a heart” deal. And I’m kind of fascinated with Serena.
If you like shows about mega-rich college kids who have nothing better to do than viciously destroy anyone that pisses them off-and when that option isn’t available-each other, then this is the show for you. (There was a poor kid once but then his dad married his girlfriends mom which icked-him out cause then he was dating his sister but then he got over it and he got over being poor too mostly, though it was a hard few months of learning to be rich. Poor thing.)

90210

Why? I don’t have a clue, I really don’t. I guess I grew up watching the original 90210 and Melrose Place, and so I sort of felt like I’d be a traitor to my generation if I didn’t watch the remakes or something. Thankfully, the awful Melrose Place Two:Characters You Don’t Care About tanked, freeing me from my obligation. Less fortunately, 90210:“Kelly’s All “together” Now seems to be going strong. At least Tori Spelling hasn’t managed to land a permanent role in it yet. Since they’ve already dealt with teen pregnancy, divorce, cancer, drug addiction, mental illness, rape and murder, not to mention the horrors of having to tell your friends you are crushing on a geek, I’m hoping they run out of shocking plot lines soon. It’s like a train wreck I just can’t look away from, gods help me.

New Shows That Might Not Suck or Will Totally Suck, or Will Be Awesome And Therefore Canceled After Six Episodes:

The Secret Circle

Every season they try a witch show, in the hopes of creating the next “Charmed”, I suppose. Most of these shows are given less than a chance, but since this one is on CW, I feel like this one may have a better-than-crappy shot. It’s apparently based on a series of books by the same people that wrote the Vampire Diaries, so take that for what it’s worth. (Re:The VD books, I tried to read them.  I recommend you…Don’t. This is one case where the book is not better than the show.) The witches here are teenagers and there looks to be enough cute boys and teen/adult drama mixed in to keep our attention for more than two episodes. We’ll see.

Hart of Dixie

 When I went looking for pictures for this show, I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t Rachel Bilsons face, so I’m not entirely sure if there is anyone else in the cast, or if it’s just an hour of Rachel talking to herself  whilst looking doctor-ish and running away from alligators. I haven’t seen the premiere yet, but the commercials give this one a feel-good comedic drama feel that attracts viewers. It doesn’t have “Record Series” status on my TiVo yet-I’m taking it one episode at a time- but I’ll give it a fair shot.

Up All Night

Out of all of the new sitcoms popping up this season, this looks to be the most promising. And, until someone mentioned it on Twitter, I’d never even heard it existed. A few days after said tweet, I noticed the pilot was on Hulu+ and decided to give it a whirl. I’m not a huge lover of the “new parenting” comedy, mostly because they tend to either portray one or both parents as complete morons, or they paint life with a newborn in a completely unrealistic light. So far though, this one seems relatable and not-entirely awful.

Ringer

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Buffy and her twin sister, Buffy. Need I say more? (I refer you to my “Buffy Fangirl” confession above.)

H8RS

Just kidding. The first episode appeared to be about “Snooki” trying to convince someone not to “H8” Snooki. I think that’s a Snooki pictured above, but I’m not entirely sure. It could be a “Kardashian”. I don’t know what a “Kardashain” does either. But, frankly, I am against any pro-Snooki propaganda on principal. Fight for your right to “H8” Snooki, y’all.

My TiVo Prioritization Says These Shows Are Teh Awesome, And If You Aren’t Watching Them, You Should Be.

(Unless You Like, Have a Life Or Something. In Which Case, I Hope A Team Of Rabid Sporks Eats Your Genitals. I Mean, I Love You.)

House:

Did you see the season finale last spring?! Best. Ex. Revenge. Ever. Of course, I’m taking bets on how many episodes it takes before he’s back at work like nothing happened.

Bones:

 I love this show so much, it gets two pictures. One for Temperance.

And one for Angel Booth.

Hopefully soon, there will be a third picture to add… (Squee)

NCIS: The Good One

There are a million and one police procedural shows out right now, but this one continues to be the best for a reason. I’ve tried to watch CSI: Ny & Miami, and the Law & Orders, but NCIS is the only one I consistently come back to. Mostly because the characters are better looking, Abby uis awesome and I really kind of want DiNozo and Ziva to “do it”.  I also adore how the women on this show are bad- ass, beautiful AND smart, with the ability to kick some major ass. Ziva could take out any of the men, any day.

(BTW: do watch SVU semi-regularly, simply because I like saying “Mariska Hargitay”)


Grays Anatomy

(Is it Grays? Or Greys? I can never remember.)

It’s popular for a reason. Main characters get smashed by busses and shot at regularly. You can’t go wrong here.

Desperate Housewives

They’re housewives. And they’re Desperate. It’s just so realistic! They’ve got the insider scoop on what it is that us housewives really do when they are home alone! How did they know what I wear when I’m cleaning? It’s like they are holding a mirror up to my life!

The Simpsons

I think Waldo is in there somewhere.

Yes, I have watched every single episode. All 20ish years worth. And yes, I am secretly a twelve-year-old boy who may have said: “Ha! Ha! Cartoon Penis!” during the Simpsons Movie.

Family Guy

There’s this roving gang of taggers in a nearby Texas town that have been using a tag of Stewie Griffins head to mark their territory.  I want to join this gang.

I amagine they jump you in by making you answer trivia questions and shooting off a body part every time you get one wrong.

“How many times has Cleveland and his bathtub fallen out of his house?”

BANG!

” What does the European Cow say?”

 BANG!

“What started the feud with the giant chicken?”

BANG!

“What’s the proper response when someone says ‘Meg’?”

Pfft.

You’re in. Sorry about the toes.

How I Met Your Mother

This is my new love. I spent the summer watching the midnight re-runs and I’m not sure how I have been living without this show in my life up until now.The premise of the show- if you live under the same rock I had been hiding under for the past few years- is a man telling his children the story of- you guessed it- how he met their mother. Aside from the odd fact that the main character has this rare disease that causes him to become Bob Saget sometime around 2020

( I call it Sagatitis)

…the show is rather awesome. Yes, that is Doogie Howser, MD. And yes, his character, Barney Stinson, is awesome. And a big fan of the ladies, though the actor himself is decidedly, er, not.

It’s Legen-

Wait for it..

Want to know the rest? Watch the show.

Two and a Half Men

They Killed Charlie!  He exploded like a “Bag of Meat”. And then he ended up in a Dustbuster. And then Ashton moved in. I don’t know what’s going on, either. But it’s generally hilarious.

The Mentalist

Dude, he totally reads between the lines. And shoots people. This man is mind-fuckingly brilliant, and of course, the bumbling CBI agents that work with him would be unable to find their own asses without him. He likes to take naps, drink tea, and generally knows everything about everything at all times, but likes to make the rest of his team, you know, work for it a little.

I’ve probably got more, but while I was writing this, I realized that i probably watch too much TV. If it makes a difference, most of my watching is done while doing laundry. What I’m saying is, we have too much fucking laundry.

Anyway, there you have it: Way more than you ever wanted to know about a total strangers TV watching habits, ever. You’re Welcome.

*This will make sense eventually, if I can actually stomach writing the post about it all.

**Hover over the pictures for stupid comments. Click them if you want to see where Google Images stole borrowed them from.

It’s ShirtMageddon time again!

Just In case you live under a social-media-free rock somewhere, and didn’t catch this post by Melissa from Pigtail Pals (@PigtailPals) or this post by @phdinparenting or this post at MoxieBird by @kdiddy or this post by Rebecca at Think Progress or this post by @JessicaWakeman at the Frisky. In case you missed allllll those posts, and the talk that started it all on Facebook last night, Let me fill you in:

Isn’t this all you need to know?

In case that picture isn’t enough, here’s some words too. This was posted last night on the Pigtail Pals Facebook page along with the comment “OMGZWTFBBQ!” (I’m SUMMARIZING, PEOPLE.)

And within approximately 4.2 seconds, (I’m ESTIMATING, PEOPLE) everyone in the world had heard about it. Now, I’m not sure how long it actually took, but JcPenney heard about the ruckus and about 12 minutes after I’d first heard about the offending garment, they had pulled it from the website and presumably, the shelves as well. As best I can figure, the product was pulled about 12 hours after the first mention of it, which occurred around 11(CST). last night  It was reported as being removed by JCP at around 10 am today. Assuming they don’t check their google alerts until morning, this is a pretty rapid response to a potentially damaging social media mess.

I’m not sure how much the response helped their image, but the speed with which they reacted was impressive. And much better than some other companies with similar issues have shown. (CoughPizzaHutCough)

Giving them some slack for maybe being asleep until oh, 7 am CST,  the shirt was removed after about three hours. Due to the power of pissed off moms on Twitter started spreading the story like wildfire.

(I’m ugly, so I can do my own math, thanks)

That is some pissed-off  GIRL POWER, people.

Anyway.. yeah. The shirt is stupid. And sexist. And I’m glad its gone, hopefully never to be seen again.

But, unfortunately- this is nothing new. In fact, I actually wrote about a similar issue back in 2009 after trying to find some appropriate clothing for my- then 5 year old- daughter, Kira.

I’m going to repost it here for fun.

(If you recognize where it’s from, shh. I’m anonymous now.)

Why can’t Girls be Superheroes too?

I’m not what you would call a regular customer at the Gap. It isn’t personal, I’m just not a Gap kind of girl. But, I somehow ended up with a giftcard, so decided to browse online. Since all of the stores near me have closed.

Not finding anything for myself, I wandered over to the kids section. You see, the kid, she is into T-shirts. She loves going to school and showing off her new shirts. We just picked out two from Target.

Awesome shirts, by the way. One is green and reminds us that dinosaurs are people too. Another is grey and features the Japanese frog from the “Hello Kitty” line. The one I used to love, instead of Hello Kitty, when I was a kid.

Hoping to find some more graphic kids shirts along these lines, I clicked on the Gap link for their “Junk Food” T-shirts for children. (I have no clue if this is their line or a line they feature, and I don’t care enough to find out.)

Oh! Look! It’s Smurfette! Awesome! I love Smurf… wait? What is Smurfette doing?

Smurfs don't shop!Why is she shopping? I don’t remember a mall in Smurf Village. Hmm. Lets try the next one…

Because, being popular is what's important, kids.So, girls care about being popular and shopping, huh? Good to know.

By this point, I am already annoyed, but when my eyes hit this next one, My head just explodes:

*Pakoosh* (That's the sound of my head fucking exploding)SMURFS. SHOULD. NOT. EVER. HOLLA.

Not all the shirts were as horrific as these, but the contrast between the girls shirts and the boys shirts was very obvious.

The girls shirts were overwhelmingly pink, and while there were two (bright pink) Beatles shirts that didn’t completely offend me, the majority of the shirts for little girls revolved around shopping, love, and candy.  Sometimes,  a combination of all three:

I probably would have accepted this without the "You Drive me" part.“Have romantic relationships at five! Eat junk food! Buy our product!”

Seriously, people wonder why we are raising a bunch of vapid, self obsessed, shopaholics who aspire to be like such “role models” as  Paris Hilton.

Buy me stuff!And we wonder why we have all these over-sexualized tweens running around:

That's right. Learn to manipulate them young!

For the record, The boys shirts were awesome, and I would have bought any one of them for The Kid.  But by the time I got to them, I was pretty well disgusted.

Boys, apparently, get to be superheroes. They get Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman Shirts.  Their Beatles shirts aren’t fucking pink.

As a mother to three girls, when I see shit like this, I just want to cry. I mean, I know this isn’t the only, or even the worst instance of this. This happens all the time. (Have you seen Bratz dolls? And Bratz babies with thongs? Gah.)

But it’s going to continue unless we, as parent’s, and consumers,  start doing something about it. Refusing to buy shit like this. See it for what it is. We should think about using our considerable power to force retailers into  thinking about the message they’re trying to send our girls, instead of just slapping random cutsey crap onto shirts, dying it barbie-barf-pink, and calling it a day. It’s not innocent and harmless. Especially when it’s everywhere.

So, I propose we say “Fuck the Gap.” And anyone else who wants to keep pushing this crap on us and our girls. And boys for that matter.

I know how hard it is not to give in to this, and let our kids wear this stuff, let them learn this stuff, especially as they get older and start pushing to be like their friends, but it’s ridiculous for us to expect this to change if we don’t do something about it. We need to stop telling ourselves it doesn’t matter, that it’s just a silly little thing. That girls should only love pink and candy and shopping while boys save the world.

It matters. Pass it on.

Yeah. Stupid clothing aimed at little girls is nothing new. But I’m glad the issue has come up again. I actually went out and did some browsing, just to see the kind of things that are going around in the more popular retail stores lately. I was surprised by a few things.

1-The Gap graphic shirts for girls this year are actually pretty awesome. Hurray Gap!Maybe they got my memo.

2-Even Wal-Mart doesn’t sell shit like that. When you can manage to have worse clothing than Wal-Mart, you’re pretty bad indeed.

3-The offensive shirt that started the frenzy? Not the only one available at JCP right now. Observe:

The ad says: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and this screen printed tee makes a strong statement about her love for “bling.”

I just hate the word “Bling,” A lot.

Apparently, girls love cupcakes and puppies. And Shopping. And “BFF’s” How about Math, Science and Superman?

And, you know, they like stuff too. Like Shoes. And hearts. And shopping of course. And cute furry things.

Also, girls can’t spell three letter words without making their brothers do it for them. And the girl who made this shirt didn’t have a brother. Like OMG WTF. 

It’s an ongoing issue, and something we need to constantly be on the lookout for. The messages aimed at our daughters tell them that they must be pretty and pink, and it’s only cool for them to love stuff like “BFF’s” and ZOMGPUPPIES and Flowers and Hearts and cupcakes, of course- lets not forget the over-sugared, obesity encouraging junk food. They are told that they don’t need to have brains, as long as they have looks, and because they are girls, how they look is valued over all else. Our kids are bombarded by these messages every day, and we obviously have the power to do something about it, if today was any example. So let’s keep fighting the good fight.

Because…Seriously?

Shirts like that make my unicorn vomit.

Being non-judgmental isn’t always easy.

I recently came across this article about selective fetal reduction in the case of twin pregnancy.
I admit, my first, (and second) reaction was gut-wrenching horror and deep sadness.
I was pregnant with twins once, you see.

The night before my first ultrasound, my husband and I were on our “honeymoon”. We spent a night away from the kids after our friends threw us a wedding. At about three a.m. Sunday morning, I woke from an extremely vivid dream in which the ultrasound technician looked at me over her screen and announced that there was, in fact two babies in there. Two peanuts, two alien-like sort-of heads, two hearts, both beating.

I shook my husband and told him, and his half-asleep reply came: “Cool, we can name them Luke and Leia.” before he rolled back over and resumed his own- I can only assume-light-saber filled-dreams.

The next day, that actually happened.

I admit, I was stunned. It was beyond surreal. I felt so many things. Excitement. Awe. And yes, even a glimmer of fear.

Mostly, I was thrilled. Sure, there were some holy-shit-TWO- newborns moments. Will I ever sleep again? How will I leave the house alone? And: FIVE kids. Eeek. So I read everything I could get my hands on and started accosting random strangers with twins with my questions. And I told people. Because I couldn’t contain my awe/panic/joy.

Sometime before 12 weeks, baby A died.
There were no symptoms. No bleeding. No cramping. Nothing other than an odd feeling of being “less pregnant” around 10 weeks.
These things happen, I was told. Maybe there was something wrong with him, I was counseled. I still had one healthy baby, I was reminded.

To say I didn’t take it well would be an extreme understatement. I spent the rest of my pregnancy googling “Hidden Twin Syndrome”  and feeling my belly obsessively. Maybe they were wrong when they couldn’t find a heartbeat. Maybe he didn’t really vanish. Maybe maybe maybe.
But he did die. He did vanish.

I suppose it’s understandable then, that my initial reaction to this article was something along the lines of: Fuck You.

I judged.

How could anyone willingly put themselves through that? I wondered. How could they, so callously, it seemed, destroy something that I’d do anything to have back? How could they deprive their remaining child of their twin, a relationship that is purportedly one of the most special bonds two people can share? I mean, they’d have been womb-mates, built in best friends for life! How could anyone take that away from their child because it’s inconvenient for them?

And I judged.

Though have not been in the shoes of these women and I cannot know what their lives are like or what experiences and facts their choice was based on, I know that if it was me, today, I would not make the same choice that they did.

And I judged.

I went away from the article. Tried to set it aside. But I kept coming back. I read the comments.
All of them.

It took awhile. And it hurt. It still hurts. But, I realized something eventually, reading those comments.
A great deal of them contained the phrase: “I am pro-choice, BUT…”

This started to get under my skin. It worked its way past my gut, past my heart, past my own experience. Past my judgment.

Into my brain.

Pro-Choice means PROCHOICE Not only choices we agree with. Not only choices we, ourselves would make. Not even only choices we feel are moral.

If we believe that a woman should have the right to choose whether or not to be pregnant, then shouldn’t she be able to choose how many children she is pregnant with? How is this different fundamentally than say, having an abortion after having three children already, because she knows she can not support a fourth? Putting aside the fertility medicine and babies as products aspect of this, it comes down to a woman (or family) deciding how many children they feel they can handle, doesn’t it?
(Note: While the consumeristic aspects of this story do bother me, and were harped on endlessly in the comments, I think that the core issue goes beyond that. This is now done for naturally occurring twins as well as “test-tube babies” so I’m choosing to skip over that part a bit, and focus on the act itself-not how it came to be.)

Then there were comments that said this: “This should be made illegal at once “

As sick as this issue makes me feel, this bothers me more. What about women who can’t physically handle carrying twins to term? What about those who can’t bear the financial burden of twins? Will  women deemed healthy be forced to carry to term and put one up for adoption?

A lot of people also seemed to hold the position of, “Well, if they didn’t want twins they shouldn’t have done IVF with two embryos.”

The thing is, in this country anyway, women undergoing IVF are encouraged to implant several embryos at a time to increase the odds of creating even one healthy baby. Some have even claimed feeling pressured to by the doctors themselves, because doing one at a time is considered a waste of time and money. Yes, there is a risk of multiples when doing IVF, but there’s also an increased chance of spontaneous twinning occurring, for some reason the odds of transferred embryos splitting is higher. So, theoretically a person could do everything to insure only one baby, and still end up with two. Should this woman be forced by law to carry both if that’s not what-for whatever reason-she wants? And where does it end? Will women be forced to keep triplets if a doctor thinks your body can “handle it”?

I’m not going to say that I came to a conclusion. That I know what’s right here. Because I don’t, not really. I know what I would do. But I haven’t walked in “Jennys” shoes.
I know that this makes me uncomfortable. Both the act AND the condemnation of it, somehow.
As hard as I try not to judge others for their choices, I can’t say that I wouldn’t judge a friend for making this choice. A lot of the people who spoke up about this either had twins or were twins themselves. I can’t really blame them for their harsh reactions. Because I get it.
But I’m trying really hard to get the other side of it as well.
What do you think?

People, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but: No one on the Internet is going to give you free money. That guy is not really dethroned royalty, he’s a 14 year-old from Toledo who just wants your bank account number so he can buy more porn.

You will not get herpeatitus if you don’t forward that chain mail on to eleventy-hundred people in the next twelve seconds.

No picture of Salma Hayek naked is ever going to ever pop up on your screen after you “Pass this email on to exactly 14 and a half people.”

Refusing to repost something as your Facebook status does not make you a bad Christian or mean you hate veteran kittens with cancer.

(This lesson is especially important if you are my mom. Hi mom! Love you! And Zucchini!)

Please, stop forwarding these things.

Unless it’s this.

If you don’t forward this, your cat will get Feline Syphilisatitis and elephantitis of the anus. And it will be all your fault.

Subject: May I Haz InterGalactic Credits Plz?

FROM: LUKE and LEIA SKYWALKER.
NAWARA VEN
REBEL REFUGEE CAMP, BESPIN
REPUBLIC OF CLOUD CITY

Dearest One, My name is Luke and my sister’s name Leia. We are the children of Late General Skywalker the former Director of Military Intelligence and special acting General Manager of the Rebel Alliance (RA). I am contacting you to seek your good assistance to transfer and invest Five million seven hundred and twenty thousand Galactic Credits (gc5,720,000.00) belonging to my late father which is deposited in a bank here on Bespin.

This money is revenues from solid minerals and diamond sale which were under my father’s possession before the civil war broke out. Following the break out of the war, almost all government offices, corporations and parastatals were attacked and vandalized. The RA headquarters was looted and burnt down to ashes, and diamonds worth millions of galactic credits were stolen by the imperial military forces that attacked my father’s office. Many top government officials and senior army officers were assassinated and my father was a key target because of his very sensitive military position and appointment in the RA.

Regrettably, my father was captured and murdered in cold blood during a midnight rebel shoot-out when our official residence on Tatooine was ambushed by Darth Tyranus the notorious rebel leader. My aunt sustained very sever laser injuries which resulted in her untimely and painful death in a private hospital here in Cloud City. Now we are alone in a totally strange country without parents, relatives or anybody to care for us at our tender ages.

Before our aunt died, she told us that our father deposited some credits which he made from diamond sales and deposited it in a bank here in Bespin, and that we should pray and find a trust worthy foreign business partner who will help us to transfer and invest these credits in profitable business venture off planet. She told us to do this quickly so that we can leave Bespin with our droids-C3PO and R2D2 who are here in the camp with us and, then settle down abroad. She gave us the bank document to prove the deposit and then told us that my father used my name as the only son to deposit the money in the bank. She told us that this is the reason why we came to Bespin. My aunt died after wards. May the Force be with her.

I have gone to the InterGalactic Banking Clan to make inquires about these credits and I spoke with the Manager of Interplanetary remittance who assured me that everything is intact and promised to help me transfer the credits to my foreign partner’s bank account as soon as I provide my partner’s foreign bank account for them. However, the manager is very concerned because of my age. I am 19 years old and as such advised that I should look for a matured person that will represent me at the bank. If you are willing to assist us, please let us know immediately so that you will arrange the transfer of the credits to your account with the bank. Please note that we will offer you 20% of the total credits as compensation for your noble assistance in accordance with my aunt’s advice. We are interested in any profitable commercial venture which you consider very good on your planet, and you would also get a school for me and my little sister and droids so that we can finish our education on your planet. Please there is urgent need for the credits to be transferred to your account and I am hoping to hear your urgent response so that I cannot look for another foreign partner. Thank you and may the force be with you and your dear family.

Yours sincerely,

Luke and Leia Skywalker

Most of us believe we know what abuse is, and we like to think we would recognize it instantly. Most of us hear the stories of women in abusive relationships and think to ourselves: ” She must have been stupid. There’s no way I’d ever put up with that.”

Unfortunately, far, far too many of us do end up in abusive relationships. And the worst part is, often we don’t even realize it, until it’s too late. We tell ourselves “I’ll never be that bruised shell of a person on TV saying  ‘But he loooves me'” We pity the woman who got to the point where she just couldn’t take it anymore and ended up taking her own life just to get away. We feel for those who end up dead at the hands of their spouse. But deep down we think There must have been something wrong with her, to put up with that, to stay in a relationship like that. We would never let ourselves get into that situation.

Until we are.

The thing is, it sneaks up on you. Nobody goes into a relationship thinking “I bet he’s going to beat the crap out of me and call me a fat whore every night. I think I’ll marry him.”

(Side note: Most of us. I am aware that there are those that enjoy being dominated. See lesson 667: Turn-On’s,  Fetishes and Submission, Oh My.)

This lesson starts with the big obvious red flags, but also deals with the more subtle forms of abuse, the warning signs, if you will, that things are not, in fact, five by five. (Forgive me the random Buffy reference. Yes. I’m a fangirl.)

So, please, even if you think you are immune, please take a moment and ask yourself these questions. Answer them honestly, your life may depend on it.

(Please note: I use “he” simply because of personal experience and because women are typically more often abused than men, and by men, but know that this applies to any gender, and any type of relationship, gay, straight, even a friendship or parent-child relationship.)

1: Has your partner ever intentionally physically hurt you?

Now, I’m not talking about that time you were play-wrestling and fell off the couch or when you twisted your ankle trying out the new sex swing.
I’m talking about someone doing something to you with the sole intention of causing you physical pain. Even if they only try to hurt you, but you escape. Say, for example, he threw a ten-pound barbell at your head, but missed. Or threw a punch but hit the wall behind you instead because of your ninja-esque ducking skills. Trying to hurt you counts, even if they fail.
Actually hurting you counts too.

If the answer to this question is yes, then you need to leave. Yes, I know you love him. Yes, I know he really didn’t mean it. Yes, I know you think maybe you might have provoked it.Yes, I know you have kids and bills and ohmygodhowcanimanagewithouthim?
Still, leave. Yes, I know it’s just not that easy. Trust me. I KNOW.
Leave anyway.

2: Have they ever hurt your children?
Again, I’m not talking about a swat on the bottom after a child runs into the road.

I’m talking about when they hold your two year old daughter over the balcony at the top of the stairs and scream at you to come get your fucking kid right now! I’m talking slapping your child in the face for throwing a tantrum. Intentionally causing physical harm.
Get the fuck out.

Seriously.

This is abuse and even if they aren’t hitting you-yet-these are your children and it is your job to protect them. Yes. Even from their parents. Fortunately,this is usually the straw that finally pushes you to leave a bad situation for many people, but unfortunately, your child has now been abused, and will likely remember this forever.  Far too many people will put up with bring hurt themselves, but most will run the second they realize their children are in danger. Here’s the thing: If he’s hurting you, chances are damn good that he will eventually hurt the kids too. Don’t risk it. Leave, before it gets this far.

About now, you’re probably thinking “Duh. Everyone knows the hitting is bad.”

Yes. But as I said, generally that’s not how it starts. Abuse is not always in-your-face, blatant black eyes and “I walked into a door” excuses. It is insidious. It sneaks up on you when you aren’t paying attention. There are some less obvious warning signs that you can often catch before it gets to the point of violence and restraining orders and shelters and fear and stalking.

3: Do you still have close friends and family?
On of the first tricks of an abuser is to isolate you. Half of the time, it’s not even done consciously on the abusers part. He just wants you to want him. Wants your focus to be on him. And no one else. It starts with something stupid, like him complaining about your friends. When you go out without them, you get a guilt-trip when you get home. Perhaps when you take him out with you, he’s rude to your friends and family. When you talk about what your friends are up to, he gets annoyed. On the phone with your mom or girlfriend for too long? Dirty looks and snide remarks abound.

Eventually it becomes easier to just stay home, and after time the friends stop calling. Family doesn’t drop by as much because he doesn’t like it.

This is a rather large warning flag. If you used to be a social butterfly, and now you can’t remember the last time you talked to a friend, something is wrong. (Note: some exceptions for those with new children and no sitter/sleep here.)
The abuser will generally isolate you or only allow you around select pre-approved friends. (In my case, this meant I was “allowed” to hang out with women he was sleeping with or trying to sleep with)

4: Are you allowed time to yourself?
A trip to the grocery store. A day at work where he doesn’t stop by or call/text you every hour to see “Whatcha doing?” Being able to sit and read a book in peace. Going online and live-tweeting Grays Anatomy.  All things we take for granted.

If you can’t remember the last time you were able to do these things, you should be concerned. And I’m not referring to that new-relationship-can’t-bear-to-be-apart phase. That’s normal, to an extent. But if it extends past that, to the point where you exist only to amuse your partner, be careful.

Generally, abusers want control. They want to know where you are and what you are doing and who you are with at all times. Which brings us to…

5: How does your partner react when you are around members of the opposite sex?

(Or same sex, if you are gay. Really, anyone that could conceivably be considered a romantic interest.)

Is the answer, ” With total, inappropriate, unjustified jealous rage?” If so, be on your guard. This doesn’t always mean it’s going to get bad, but many a person has ended up getting hurt due to unfounded jealousy. If he flips out because you have a male friend, forbids you to see/speak to them anymore- first ask yourself: ” Does he have a valid reason to be jealous?” If the answer us an honest “No” then proceed with caution.

Also, if he reads your email, monitors your phone calls and tracks every website you visit online, run away.

6: How do you argue?
Arguing in a relationship is normal, and can actually be healthy-to some degree.

Being called a “Worthless Slut” or a “Fat Whore” on a regular basis is not.

The mentality of an abuser is such that they tend to feel the need to tear you down constantly. And yes-There are exceptions to this. When things get heated, some of us tend to say things we don’t mean, especially when we are hurt. (It’s possible I may havecalled my husband a “Fucking Fuck” at one point in our relationship.)

Stupid nonsensical swearing is one thing, but a true abuser learns your weak spots and uses them to hurt you. On a regular basis. To the point where you truly start to believe you really are a worthless fat whatever.

This is emotional abuse- which alone is reason enough to flee, but is also often an indicator of worse abuse to come.
Honestly, even if it never goes past this, you deserve better. Someone who truly loves you should not constantly throw your faults and insecurities in your face. They should not use your pain and past mistakes against you.

This is not love.

This person needs to tear you down in order to feel better about themselves. And too many of us, women and men alike, put up with it. (Surprisingly-to some- women are often guilty of doing this.)

Or worse, we actually believe that this is how a relationship is supposed to be. It isn’t.

Sometimes, as I said, awful things are said in anger, but a good person will apologize after a bad fight. It’s not a constant everyday “You burned my dinner again you useless fat fucking whore can’t you do anything right.”

Fuck that shit. Seriously. Kick his ass to the curb and move on.

7: Do you live in constant fear of making a mistake?
To a point, we all try to please our significant others. This is normal, and should be a mutual thing. You both do things to make the other happy. If, however, you went to the store and realized after the fact that you forgot to buy his favorite cereal and you’ve spent the last four hours freaking out about having to tell him this when he gets home, um, there be problems.

As with everything, there is a line here. If you just spent $800 on a new pair of Manolos, and now you don’t have money for groceries, well, chances are you’re gonna get chewed out, and rightfully so.  (And then you’re gonna return some shoes and go buy your kids some food, right?)

But you wont get the crap kicked out of you.

If you live your life walking on eggshells around your partner, terrified of making even the smallest of mistakes, something is wrong. This is wrong.

~~~

I know that I haven’t covered everything here. Please, add anything you think of that I’ve missed in the comment section.

Seriously, if you find yourself answering yes to any of these, please, I beg you, take a step back and really LOOK at your relationship. If you truly can’t be objective, ask a friend or family member for their honest opinion.

Chances are, they’ve noticed, because being in abusive relationship changes you. It strips down your self-esteem and destroys your spirit, and in the long run, your life. I don’t care HOW many mistakes you’ve made, you deserve better.

If it turns out you are in an abusive relationship, please, get help and get out before it’s too late. I know leaving in many cases is terrifying. Not just from fear of retribution, but fear of how you will live, especially if you have kids, or if, like me, you had been so isolated by that point that you no longer have any friends or family to turn to.

If you are a victim of abuse, and you need help, please email me or comment. Even if you just need to talk, to vent. Anything. I will never reveal your email address or “out” you, and I will do everything in my power to help. Because I’ve been there. Because abuse sucks. Because leaving also sucks, but you don’t have to face it alone. You are not alone.

Also, if you’d be willing and able to help a victim of abuse who is in need, please comment or leave me an email at ebcummingsblogATgmailDOTcom.

Don’t be fooled by its high number. These are the most important lessons you’ll learn from the internet. Ever. Until tomorrow, when someone creates a more relevant, funnier cartoon.

1- Here There Be Trolls (AKA:If You Write it, They Will Bitch)

Welcome to the Internet! Are you new here? Let me show you around!
So. Let’s jump right in with today’s lesson. Here’s the thing, if you’re planning on using the Internet for anything other than emailing your relatives annoying chain-mail and creating a vast virtual farming empire, you are going to run into the mystical creature known as the Troll.

Unfortunately, unlike the trolls of the good ol’ days, these are not the seldom seen creatures that really only surface when you try to cross a bridge; in the Internet world, Trolls are everywhere.  They come out when you least expect it and they usually travel in packs. And instead of asking you to pay a toll, their purpose is apparently to piss on everyones Cheerios and indulge in general douchetruckkery-for-the-sake-of-douchetruckkery.
Example:
Want to see a troll for yourself? Simply write about politics, breastfeeding or, inexplicably, how your cats sometimes annoy you-and watch them come out of the woodwork! They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that you are WRONG and then explain, generally with extremely poor grammar/spelling/random numbers inserted inappropriately and/or with significant abuse of the CAPS LOCK, SO THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THEY ARE REALLY MAD and/or SERIOUS. (Or possibly “srs!”)

Your political thought, idea or party is wrong. The way you breastfeed in public/bottle feed exclusively makes you an “obscene flasher who is sexualizing our youth!!!!/A lazy poisoner who is going to have a fat asthmatic child. The fact that your pets are no longer worshiped completely now that you have kids, and maybe you’d prefer they not rub their assholes on your stuff, it makes you eeeevil, and your baby should die/abandon you in a nursing home.

It doesn’t matter what you say, there is no reasoning with a troll. ( See #3) The best bet is to just accept that they exist and ignore them. Unless you are super-bored, in which case, go write a post about (any) religion and have fun with the replies.

2-Hiding Behind a Computer Makes People Say Shit They Wouldn’t  Ever Say Otherwise

Example:

There’s a corner of the internet in which there exists a category of persons who don’t quite fall into the troll category. They do what they do for deeper reasons, whereas most trolls are just bored or ignorant or righteous (or, most likely, all three). This other entity- for the purposes of this lesson, let’s call them “Ogres”-is bigger than a troll. (Maybe. I haven’t played D&D in awhile.)

An Ogre is not happy with just stirring the pot in some comment section somewhere. An Ogre actually thrives on drama, and craves attention. Usually this type of creature isn’t quite able to write thoughtful, funny, well written blog posts or articles that would draw the large crowd they desire in the usual way, or they are simply too lazy to come up with their own content. So they try to capitalize on other peoples success- in the classiest way possible of course!

By creating their own site, network or club in their mom’s basement, that is solely dedicated to bashing other people. They pick fights with the popular kids. They harass celebrities. Because the next best thing to actually being a popular, well-liked person is to be that persons nemesis. Instead of becoming well known for the good they do, they become well known for the shit they start.

The result is the same. People notice Ogres.

That’s the point, you see.

Most of them claim noble motivations. I.e. They’re just thinking of the children! OMGZ WONT SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN. (This applies in mommy-blog circles and in some celebrity bashings as well.)

They’ll come up with a cause to justify their actions, paint themselves as the misunderstood underdog who’s just trying to show everyone the wrongness of, say blogging about their kid shitting on the floor, or how elitist and racist unicorn cakes really are. They’re good Ogres. Honest.

Like Shrek.

A few are blatant about their choice to go “green”, not even pretending to have layers like an onion. ( Random Shrek pun. You’re Welcome.) They freely admit they are doing it to drive traffic to the blog/forum/their kids treehouse party.

Here’s the thing: In person, Ogres are usually totally normal people in real life.

In keeping with the Shrek comparison, think Fiona, circa the first movie. By day, shes a pretty pretty princess. At night, shes the jealous bitter asshole who’s Tweeting your home address and/or the contents of your last email out to her loyal fans, because yes, they’ve always, always ALWAYS got underlings.

And they are usually illiterate Trolls. It’s theee Circle of Life..er.. Wrong movie. Moving on.

The Ogres “Daytime Persona” or Fiona, is generally a NICE person. So the next time you see that nice lady who lets you cut ahead of her in the line at the supermarket because you have a screaming kid, a candy grabbing “Mom, mom. MOM Can I have this? This? How about THIS?” kid and the kid who is fucking antagonizing  the already-screaming-kid by taking his toy and dangling it just out of his reach and you JUST WANT TO BUY YOUR FUCKING BOX OF TAMPONS AND YOUR BAG OF CHOCOLATE PRETZELS AND A GALLON OF MILK BECAUSE YOUR HUSBAND CAN’T STOP ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK BECAUSE HE IS TIRED

…erm.. sorry, I think I had a flashback there. Er. Cough. Excuse me. Where was I?

Oh right. That nice, polite lady with those well behaved children who is letting you go ahead of her and totally not rolling her eyes at your obnoxious children-She could be an Ogre. Again, you’re welcome.

3-You Can’t Win At The Internets ( So Stop Typing)

So, what happens when you are happily perusing the internet one day, ignoring trolls and staying away from ogres, and you come across a post that is just so absolutely mind-bogglingly wrong you think you must be dreaming it?

I Know. What that guy just said.. I KNOW. He is WRONG. And RUDE. And WRONG. And, if he would just listen to you for five seconds, just read what you had to say he would understand.

No. He won’t. Ever. No matter how wonderful you think Sarah Palin* is, that troll is not going to suddenly change his mind after listening to your thoughtful, Maverick-y, intelligent reasoning on the subject. And chances are, the more you keep trying- especially if you are in a public forum- the more likely it is that someone else is going to interject with this picture at some point.

And then, twelve more people are going to come in and comment about how not cool that picture is and how making fun of people with disabilities is wrong, and using the word “retard” is even more wrong. (And I will be one of these people.) And they’re right, making fun of people with disabilities IS wrong. And they’re right. Fighting on the internet IS pointless. But you’ll be too pissed at the woman hating liberal elitist cat-rapey-baby-eater who JUST WONT LISTEN by this point to realize that at the end of the day, some things just aren’t worth your time.

This says it best.

(Click the picture to see it entirely. Via Thought Catalog)

Of course, if the original post is like, super, SUPER wrong, feel free to bend the rules a little. Because sometimes douchetrucks totally need a smackdown. Personally, if I absolutely can’t stand it and MUST say something, I’ll say it, and move on-without engaging in any of the after-effects or turning it into an entire THING. Unless I’m really, really bored. Or the person I’m arguing with is really, really stupid. Then all bets are off.

4- Some People Really ARE That Racist/Sexist/Stupid/Etcetera

Yes. Not all of the Trolls and Ogres are playing a part, and not all of the internet assholes are nice people when they are not hiding behind their Mac with their Caramel Macchiato and fabricated indignation.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that everyone gets a voice.

 The horrible thing about the internet is that everyone gets a voice.

Even Racist Fucktards and Pedophiles and For Some Reason This Guy.

Yes. People really do think that way. Say that stuff. Believe that shit. Not just on the internet either, it carries over to real life.

Free Speech applies to everyone. Even Douchetrucks. And as fucking god-awful as some things are, if we start taking away their right to spout their bullshit freely, then we pave the way for a whole fuck-ton (It’s a metric measurement.) of problems. Honestly, I think most of us would silence pedophiles in an instant, given, say, a vote. But how many people do you think would silence, say, sites about homosexuality that are aimed at children and teens? Probably a lot, if it was put to a vote in America. What about religion? Does the religion with the most followers get to silence the rest of them?

Damn slippery slopes and their damn slippery-ness.

5-As Unlikely As It Seems Now-Some People Are Awesome

Now that you have decided to stomp on, smash and then burn your laptop before tossing it in the dumpster as you flee, FLEE from the horrible horrible internet with its trolls and RACISTS AND BEARS OH MY!

 I leave you with this last lesson.

Despite all of the crap, and though there sometimes seems to be an overwhelming amount of it, not all of the people and experiences you will find here are evil and bad. In fact, most of them aren’t.

People set up amazing fundraisers and support groups and technology has brought important issues to the forefront by making them immediately, visually THERE. And impossible to ignore.

More than that though, there is this sense of community that can be found, regardless of who you are, there’s a place for you. Since I happen to be a Mother, and a Writer, I spend a lot of time lurking in those circles, but no matter what you enjoy, what you have been through, there is a place where people will understand, whether its collecting Sporks or finding an abuse survivor support group, there’s a place here where you will be wanted and loved and accepted.

(Yes. Even Trolls and Ogres have their place. See: Facebook and 4Chan)

Take BlogHer for example. This blogging conference for women is a yearly event  and though it’s not something I’ll ever be rich fortunate enough to attend, just reading the stories and hearing about the amazing friendships and inspiring panels that happen during these conferences, renews my faith that there is still good and sparkly to be found in the internet. Still a place where I belong, albeit virtually.

Good Exists.

And GOOD always wins. Don’t you watch the movies?

Or the Unicorns?

        (BlogHer 11’s SparkleCorn Cake By MamaPop)

* Ed Note. This statement does not reflect the opinions of the owner of this blog. And I would never, ever post that picture.